The International Institute for Theoretical Cardiology (IIfTC) was founded in Bad Orb, Germany, on June 3, 1984. The legal requirements to fulfil the exemption status according to German law were obtained. The founding members were Daniel Burkhoff, Baltimore; Michael Franz, Baltimore; Ulrich Freund, Bad Orb; Thomas Kenner, Graz; Kazem Sadegh-zadeh, Münster; Jochen Schaefer, Bad Orb; David Yue, Baltimore.

The foundation of the International Institute for Theoretical Cardiology (IIfTC) in 1984 was preceded, actually triggered by a symposium on "The Interval-Force-Relationship in the Heart" that took place at the Kurklinik Küppelsmühle in Bad Orb in April (April 12-15, 1982). Especially for the young scientists and students (Daniel Burkhoff and David T. Yue) attending for the first time a conference where it was possible to freely discuss controversial aspects in science without any constraints in time this meeting served as a kind of initiating stimulus to create a permanent forum for such an exchange of ideas.

The aim of the institute was and is to create a forum for the examination of controversies in cardiology, with a special focus upon their philosophical and epistemological dimensions. In particular, we are interested in the question whether certain controversies in medicine, particular cardiology, can be clarified by an evaluation of the axiomatic foundations underlying the disputes, and not simply solved by the perfunctory acquisition of additional experimental and clinical results.

Since its foundation, the IIfTC has organised several international symposia, workshops and colloquia, published various contributions in international journals and books and completed the translation of important scientific contributions from the German physiological and cardiological literature into English.

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